Finally, the Taj

Trip Start Sep 17, 2007
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Trip End Oct 08, 2008


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Flag of India  ,
Saturday, December 8, 2007

We didn't quite get the early start we were going for because we all slept through the alarm, but we did make it down there early enough to enter the Taj Mahal without a crowd.

You pass through one of the three gates and then through the main gate and the Taj emerges in front of you.  The early morning mist still shrouded the monument, but everyone was there taking pictures anyway.  From here you walk down the path beside the center pool until you come to another platform with a marble bench.  This is where you take the classic Taj picture while you sit on the bench.  This is easier said than done.  There are rogue photographers who sell a picture package.  They hoard this spot and take five or six pictures for each person.  It's like they own the place.  I thought Erin was going to strangle a couple of them.  But we finally got our picture, even if it has a bunch of tourists in it.

You take your shoes off or wear little cloth booties to actually walk on the monument.  We circled around the left side to see the mosque (and its mirror image) on either side of the main building.  The sun was in a great position to take sunrise pictures on one side and normal pictures on the other.  The light gave the marble a shimmering, unreal quality. 

Inside the tomb is even more incredible marblework than on the outside.  It actually is pretty small inside, compared to the size of the outside. 

I could have spent more time here, but they don't let you bring food in and it was time for breakfast.  It really is an amazing place and needs to be seen with your own eyes.

After a final breakfast in our favorite rooftop restaurant, it was time to hit the road.  We needed a bus to Jaipur.  After deciding we didn't want to go local at the moment, we got the rather comfortable government bus.  It left on time, didn't make too many stops, and was fairly comfortable.  We arrived in Jaipur around sunset.

~Travis
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